24 August 2011


It’s spring in Melbourne. It crept up softly, gradually; then in the last few days, suddenly, noisily, with the burst of flowers, the sprout of leaves, an explosion of birdlife and nest building. The sky has been blue, the sun warm – perfect for strolling along the creek, if you have the inclination and the time. And I do have the inclination, and I’ve been making as much time as I can in between packing, getting the house painted and, most of all, working feverishly on my dissertation, which is due just a week or two before we leave. Today, after two hours solid work at a local cafĂ©, I walked back along the creek (slowly, slowly) and watched two glossy ravens hop from rock to rock around a large puddle before finally jumping in and splashing around (after I’d moved on a bit – they’re clearly modest!). They were later chased out of a nearby tree by two wattlebirds – perhaps protecting a nest, or perhaps just being pernickety and territorial, as wattlebirds are wont to be. A pair of magpie larks pottered quietly and calmly in the long grass. I said hello to some of my tree friends, and noticed again how much they’d grown since we moved here just over five years ago. They really are established trees, now, rather than saplings – big enough to cast shade for a picnic. I thought about how much more literate I am in terms of being able to ‘read’ this landscape, how I could sit there for hours listening to the stories it tells. I kind of wanted to lie face-down on the ground and soak everything up, or be absorbed.

I am so glad that we are here for this part of spring. I will miss my little bit of Melbourne when we’re living overseas.


It was my birthday in June, so we had a mini-break. We really enjoyed our stay at Glenview Retreat in Emerald last July (for our anniversary walk), so we decided to repeat the experience. Once again, we walked there from Belgrave, though this time we took a slightly different route. We stayed two nights, giving us the chance to properly relax, read a book, and wander around Emerald Lake Park. We walked all the way back to Belgrave, this time (no trespassing and encountering bulls in paddocks, this time!). You can see a map of our walk here. You can see all photos here, but I'll post a selection below (you can click on the images to see a bigger size and more commentary).

Day One:

Cuppa and morning tea Morning path
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens: colours
Lunch! Single file
Colony: Coprinellus disseminatus? Young fungus (ID anyone?)
Stronger than you might think!

Day Two:

Dinosaurs (swamp hens)
Screen / Shore

Day Three:

D & J: rugged up
Free lemons Hailstorm After / afterglow
Sky tapioca

11 August 2011


I've been so busy with uni that I haven't had time to edit and upload the photos from our last trip to East Gippsland in April. But now I have! You can find them on Flickr, but here are a few of my faves. Click through to see comments on Flickr.

Contemplation Regrowth
On the way there: picnic lunch at Bairnsdale and bushfire regrowth on the Princes Hwy.

shadow / dog d and our friendly companion
A dog we met when we went on a walk. She was super friendly!

green and blue
Everything was so green and lush. Lovely, after years of drought.

backlit grape vine
The grape leaves were just turning.

silverweb yellow sponge fungus! (what is this?!)
We went for walks and saw cool things (check that fungus)!

my amazing cardigan!
It was E's 60th, and she had a cardigan-themed party!

dawn, morning star
I got to watch the sun rise. My favourite time.

j, e, e & j
J, E, E & J. (Photo by D.)

Soon we'll be off again, this time for J's 60th! It will most likely be our last visit before we head to the UK, so it'll be slightly bittersweet.

8 August 2011


Oof. I'd forgotten how long it takes to pack up a house. I'm glad we've started early. We've boxed almost all the books (except my uni books). Last time we put things in storage it was for a bit over 6 months, and when we got back there was a lot of stuff we thought we should have got rid of in the garage sale we had before we left. This time we're trying to be more ruthless! But still . . .

I've packed 15 boxes of books so far - and there's probably another 2-3 to go! We've also got a shelf and a half (and counting) of books we want to take with us. However, we've sorted out about 6 shelves of books to sell at our garage sale this time. We just have a lot of books.

(I'm not even starting to think about the video tapes, DVDs and - worse! - the CDs!)